Chehalis, Wash. — On Thursday, August 31, 2023, the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) conducted a search warrant at the Green Hill Juvenile Rehabilitation and Detention Facility in Chehalis, Washington, as part of an ongoing investigation into the possession and distribution of controlled substances within the facility.
The investigation began in November 2022 when a juvenile resident at the Green Hill facility was found unresponsive in his cell due to a drug overdose. It was determined that the overdose resulted from fentanyl use. Subsequently, JNET initiated an investigation, intercepting over 1000 suspected fentanyl pills and charging four student inmates with various drug crimes.
In June 2023, a letter was sent to Governor Jay Inslee, signed by local Centralia and Chehalis Chiefs of Police, as well as the Centralia and Chehalis City Mayors, requesting an investigation into Green Hill’s operating practices. However, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office declined to conduct further investigation, citing implemented security changes and enhanced training.
Despite the arrests in the 2022 overdose case, JNET received ongoing tips suggesting drug overdoses were still occurring within Green Hill and potentially being handled internally. Child Protective Services (CPS) also received information in August 2023 alleging that a staff member at Green Hill was providing a student inmate with illegal controlled substances.
To address these concerns, JNET initiated a new investigation into alleged overdoses and illegal drug use within Green Hill. On August 17, 2023, a JNET detective accompanied a CPS investigator to the facility, where they discovered that staff members had taken suspected fentanyl from multiple student inmates connected to the CPS complaint.
Efforts to recover the seized fentanyl pills were met with delays, prompting the execution of a search warrant on August 31, 2023. During the search, JNET detectives discovered lockers containing contraband dating back to 2017, including illegal controlled substances (believed to be marijuana, methamphetamine, fentanyl), cell phones, vape pens, improvised knives, handwritten documents related to drug transactions, and hand tools. These substances will be sent to a lab for testing as part of the ongoing investigation.
JNET detectives are actively working with Green Hill facility staff to investigate potential crimes related to the possession, distribution, and introduction of controlled substances, as outlined under RCW 9.94.041, RCW 69.50.401, and RCW 9A.76.150.
Anyone with information related to illegal controlled substances within the Green Hill Juvenile Rehabilitation and Detention Facility is encouraged to contact JNET Detective Sergeant Tracy Murphy at (360) 330-7614.